Scott Walker’s Call to Arms
by MARIO LOYOLA & JAKE CURTIS December 20, 2016 4:47 PM @MARIO_A_LOYOLA, @JACOBJCURTIS
The Wisconsin governor has asked Trump to restore the balance of federal and state power. Here’s why all states should rally to his call.
America owes President Barack Obama an enormous debt of gratitude for showing how truly dangerous the federal government can be when our Constitution’s checks and balances start failing. With the active collusion of congressional Democrats, President Obama’s presidency has been one long series of body blows to the separation of powers that has protected our democracy since the Founding. The results have been stark. Never has a president trampled so much on the prerogatives of Congress. Obama’s executive orders, suspending parts of our immigration laws and even his own prized Obamacare, have been sheer usurpations, going far beyond even the breathtaking delegations of legislative authority granted by the brief Democratic supermajority in Congress in 2009–10….
…The separation of state and federal authority is one of the most essential principles of our Constitution. It explains the Constitution’s structural allocation of powers as much as the division between legislative, executive, and judicial functions. If we lose the separate and independent existence of state governments, we will lose our Constitution.
Hence the potentially historic importance of the initiative just announced by Governor Scott Walker, under the heading “Wisconsin, Not Washington.” This morning Governor Walker sent a letter to President-elect Trump, asking for Trump’s help in restoring the federal structure of the Constitution.
Governor Walker’s letter opens (after congratulating Trump) with a paragraph framing the issue in a way similar to how the Founders might have done it:
The question is not what functions the federal government should give back to the states, but what functions should the federal government have in the first place. The federal government was originally created to be a small, central government of limited powers, with everything else left to the states. Through years of federal overreach, this model has been turned on its head, and now is the time to right the ship. Power flows from the people to the government, not the other way around.
Walter E. Williams and The Tenth Amendment Center Agree and Add This.
For more than a half-century, it has become abundantly clear that our nation faces increasing irreconcilable differences. At the root is the fact that there is one group of Americans who mostly want to be left alone and live according to the rule of law and the dictates of the U.S. Constitution while another group of Americans wants to control the lives of others and ignore both the rule of law and constitutional restraints on the federal government.
Should those Americans who favor the rule of law and constitutional government fight against or yield to those Americans who have contempt for the rule of law and constitutional government? Let’s look at a few of those irreconcilable differences.
Some Americans prefer to manage their own health care needs. Others wish to have the federal government dictate their health care. Some Americans want their earnings to be taxed only for the constitutionally mandated functions of the federal government, which are outlined in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. Others think American earnings should be taxed for anything on which Congress can muster a majority vote.
Though there is no constitutional authority for federal involvement in public education, some Americans want the federal government involved. The list of irreconcilable differences among the American people is nearly without end. These differences survive because of the timidity of those offended and the brute power of the federal government.
I think reconciliation is impossible; therefore, separation is the only long-term peaceful solution. Separation and independence do not require that liberty-loving Americans overthrow the federal government any more than they required Gen. George Washington to overthrow the British government in order to secede or required his successor secessionist, Confederate President Jefferson Davis, to overthrow the U.S. federal government.
You say, “All those government acts that you say violate the rule of law and the Constitution have been ruled constitutional by the courts!” That’s true. The courts have twisted the Constitution, but Thomas Jefferson warned, “To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions (is) a very dangerous doctrine indeed and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.”
State governors and legislators ought to summon up the courage our Founding Fathers had in their response to the fifth Congress’ Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798. Written by Jefferson and James Madison, the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798 and 1799 stated that those states’ legislatures considered the Alien and Sedition Acts unconstitutional.
They said, “Resolved, That the several States composing, the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government … and … whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.” The 10th Amendment to our Constitution holds, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
The federal government should not be permitted to determine the scope of its own powers. Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist No. 28, said, “The State governments will, in all possible contingencies, afford complete security against invasions of the public liberty by the national authority.”
One response to federal encroachment is for state governments to declare federal laws that have no constitutional authority null and void and refuse to obey them. In other words, they should nullify federal laws that violate the Constitution. In good conscience, liberals could not object to nullification. There are hundreds of so-called sanctuary cities in the U.S. — liberal places that have chosen to nullify federal immigration laws and harbor immigrants who are here illegally.
Former slave Frederick Douglass advised: “Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them. … The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” We Americans appear to have very limited endurance in the face of tyrannical oppression.
For those not familiar with The Constitution and The Bill of Rights let me add this:
ARTICLE 1, SECTION 8
The Congress shall have the power
- 1. to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States:
- 2. To borrow money on the credit of the United States:
- 3. To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes:
- 4. To establish an uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States:
- 5. To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures:
- 6. To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States:
- 7. To establish post-offices and post-roads:
- 8. To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries:
- 9. To constitute tribunals inferior to the supreme court:
- 10. To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offences against the law of nations:
- 11. To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water:
- 12. To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years:
- 13. To provide and maintain a navy:
- 14. To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces:
- 15. To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions:
- 16. To provide for organizing, arming and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress:
- 17. To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such district (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful buildings: And,
- 18. To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.
ARTICLE 1, SECTION 9
Provision as to migration or importation of certain persons. Habeas Corpus, Bills of attainder, etc. Taxes, how apportioned. No export duty. No commercial preference. Money, how drawn from Treasury, etc. No titular nobility. Officers not top receive presents, etc.
- 1. The migration or importation of such persons as any of the states now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year 1808, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importations, not exceeding 10 dollars for each person.
- 2. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.
- 3. No bill of attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed.
- 4. [No capitation, or other direct tax shall be laid unless in proportion to the census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.] Altered by 16th Amendment
- 5. No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any state.
- 6. No preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one state over those of another: nor shall vessels bound to, or from one state, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay duties in another.
- 7. No money shall be drawn from the treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law; and a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time.
- 8. No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no person holding any office or profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.
REGARDING A CONVENTION OF STATES.
- The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this constitution, or on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three-fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress: Provided, that no amendment which may be made prior to the year 1808, shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Kentucky’s Resolution 1:
That the several states composing the United States of America are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that, by compact, under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for special purposes, delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each state to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force; that to this compact each state acceded as a state, and is an integral party, its co-States forming, as to itself, the other party; that this government, created by this compact, was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself, since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers; but that, as in all other cases of compact among powers having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress.
Kentucky Resolution 2.
That the Constitution of the United States, having delegated to Congress a power to punish treason, counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States, piracies, and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations, and no other crimes, whatsoever; and it being true as a general principle, and one of the amendments to the Constitution having also declared, that “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people,” therefore the act of Congress, passed on the 14th day of July, 1798, and intitled “An Act in addition to the act intitled An Act for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States,” as also the act passed by them on the—day of June, 1798, intitled “An Act to punish frauds committed on the bank of the United States,” (and all their other acts which assume to create, define, or punish crimes, other than those so enumerated in the Constitution,) are altogether void, and of no force whatsoever.
The Virginia Resolution.
That this Assembly doth explicitly and peremptorily declare, that it views the powers of the federal government as resulting from the compact to which the states are parties, as limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constituting that compact, as no further valid than they are authorized by the grants enumerated in that compact; and that, in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states, who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose, for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining, within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties, appertaining to them.
FOR THE FULL CONTEXT OF THE KENTUCKY AND VIRGINIA RESOLUTIONS SEE LINKS EMBEDDED.
Scott Walker’s and Walter E. Williams’ proposals are both soundly Constitutional, and in light of what has transpired in America governance since 1913, sorely needed and overdue.
This write-up is a “spring-board” into just what IS Constitutional Conservatism, an article I am working on and will post upon completion.